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The Iowa Department of Education is issuing a non-competitive application to fund new districts in the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program for Four-Year-Old Children through collaborative partnerships among school districts, local communities and families. The purpose is to solicit applications that will enable the Department to make funding available in the 2014-2015 year based on the Certified Enrollment Count from October 2013. Districts currently funded for the Statewide Voluntary Preschool would not need to reapply. Applications are due May 20,2013.
GOLD Online Assessment System
The Iowa Department of Education (DE) is pleased to announce the Teaching Strategies GOLD State Service Umbrella Agreement (the statewide license with Teaching Strategies, Inc.) has been finalized. This agreement provides the GOLD online assessment system and reduces the subscriber fees for all state and federally funded early childhood programs and services, including Iowa school districts, their community partners, Shared Visions, as well as Head Start, Area Education Agencies and other programs located in the state of Iowa. This web‐based online system will allow programs, as well as AEAs and the DE, to assess child progress based on research‐based widely held expectations from birth through kindergarten and provide reports at the individual, group, regional and statewide level.
The GOLD online assessment system focuses on 38 research‐based objectives for development and learning that are predictors of school success and aligned with the Iowa Early Leaning Standards. GOLD is also a curriculum neutral assessment so it may be used with any research‐based curriculum.
Please refer to GOLD Online Registration Information and FAQs for information about subscribing with Teaching Strategies, Inc.
End-of-Year Data Clean up Guide for Teaching Strategies GOLD® Online Administrators - Steps to close the year for GOLD
The purpose of Iowa's Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program for Four-Year-Old Children is to provide an opportunity for all young children in the State of Iowa to enter school ready to learn by expanding voluntary access to quality preschool curricula for all four-year-old children. The allocation of funds for the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program is intended to improve access to quality early childhood education and provide a predictable, equitable and sustainable funding method to increase the number of children participating in quality programs. Therefore, the four-year-old preschool funds are intended to increase the number of children participating in quality programs.
Kindergarten Literacy Assessment - The Kindergarten Literacy Assessment is given to all kindergarten children. This report provides information about the performance of children who attended the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program on the DIBELS assessment. The Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program demonstrates significant results.
A total of 320 school districts were awarded funding to provide the program in the 2011-12 school year. The 2011-12 certified enrollment is 20,396 four-year-old students.
The following is guidance that can assist participating school districts and community partners.
Who Can Apply for Funds
Any local school district that meets the accreditation requirements under Chapter 12 is eligible to submit an Application.
The Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program for Four-Year-Old Children was established May 10, 2007 when Governor Chet Culver signed House File 877 (HF 877) . The Preschool Program provides an opportunity for all young children in the State of Iowa to enter school ready to learn by expanding voluntary access to quality preschool curricula for all four-year-old children.
These rules implement the Statewide Voluntary Preschool for Four-Year-Old Children created in new Iowa Code section 256c by Iowa Acts 2007 (HF 877). They provide guidance to school districts in the implementation of this new preschool program. These rules are subject to non-substantive changes by the Iowa Code Editor.
Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program Rules (2007-06-22)
The report presented to the Senate Education Committee about the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program:
The following are guiding practices that can assist participating school districts and community partners.
The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) outlines dimensions to consider when making decisions about preschool curriculum in this Policy Brief.
NIEER Curriculum Policy Brief (2007-05-22)
Iowa Early Learning Standards/Child Standards
Participating school districts in the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program for Four-Year-Old Children will follow the Iowa Early Learning Standards. These standards identify the knowledge, skills, motivation, and attitudes needed by preschoolers that lead to success as students enter school and as adults. The six developmental areas are:
- physical well-being and motor development
- approaches toward learning
- social and emotional development
- communication, language, and literacy
- mathematics and science
- creative arts
Programs participating in Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program for Four-Year-Old Children must meet one of the following program standards. Each standard is indicative of high quality programming efforts. Preschool programs meet or will meet quality standards within 12 months of implementation of the preschool program.
- Head Start Program Performance Standards
- National Association of Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Standards and Criteria http://www.naeyc.org/accreditation/
- Iowa Quality Preschool Program Standards (QPPS)
Preschool Teacher Assistant Qualifications
The type of preschool program and required program standards determine the type of qualifications required for teaching assistants. This document provides options that are open to teaching assistants for meeting state and federal requirements.
Research offers unarguable evidence that children who participate in a high-quality, research-based preschool program exhibit stronger language, math, thinking, and social skills. The Iowa Department of Education provides both research and policy guidance in this Issue Brief.
Participating school district teachers will receive professional development focusing on areas appropriate to the role of an early childhood teacher and implemented in accordance with Iowa Code section 284.6. School districts will also make appropriate professional development opportunities available to community partner teachers of the preschool program who are not employed by the district. District support staff working in four-year-old preschool classrooms should also be provided opportunities for staff development in early childhood education. These opportunities are to be addressed in the school district career development plan and follow the Iowa Professional Development Model.
Numerous studies have found that the education levels of preschool teachers and specialized training in each childhood education predict teaching quality and positively Affect children's achievement of social, emotional, language, literacy and cognitive skills. The Iowa Department of Education provides both research and policy guidance in this Issue Brief
Teacher Quality Issue Brief
Participating School Districts must work within the transportation guidelines of
Each Area Education Agency has Early Childhood Consultants that can provide information and support to local school districts as they plan for the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program for Four-Year-Old Children. Contact information is provided in the following document:
2009-2010 AEA Early Childhood Leadership Network
Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program for Four-Year-Old Children requires participating school districts to adopt an assessment system linked to its research or evidence-based curriculum.
The Iowa Department of Education does not endorse any one preschool assessment. Commonly used, commercially developed assessment tools linked to research-based or evidence-based curriculums include:
- The Creative Curriculum Developmental Continuum Assessment System; Teaching Strategies, Inc., Washington DC
- Child Observation Record (COR); High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, Ypsilanti, MI http://highscope.org/Content.asp?ContentId=371
Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program for Four-Year-Old Children requires participating school districts to adopt a research or evidence-based curriculum that is developmentally appropriate, including age appropriate, individually appropriate, and culturally appropriate. In order to meet the needs of the diverse population of children, families and communities; the curriculum should be culturally sensitive and flexible.
The Iowa Department of Education does not endorse any one preschool curriculum. Commonly used, commercially developed curriculum packages that meet the above criteria include:
- Creative Curriculum for Preschool http://www.teachingstrategies.com/
- High Scope http://www.highscope.org/
Best Practices in Curriculum, Assessment & Program Evaluation
The National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has a Position Statement on Early Childhood Curriculum, Assessment, and Program Evaluation to guide implementers of early care and education programs.
Hiring Licensed Teachers
The Teach Iowa website is an avenue to recruit licensed teachers for the preschool program:
- School districts can post job vacancies and search applicants' resumes.
- Early childhood teachers interested in these jobs can search for jobs and share information with School Districts through the online application.